Physiotherapists do a lot more than just fix peoples aches and pains. Many people have been seeing a physio since childhood! But for those who have never seen a physiotherapist before they may not be sure what they actually do. Unsurprisingly this is one of the most common questions a physiotherapist gets.
What is it that physiotherapists do?
There really isn’t much a physiotherapist can’t do. Depending on what the physiotherapist specializes in might vary the answer you receive when you ask what they actually do. For the most part physiotherapists are experts in pain management and work with patients who may have a new injury or those who have had ongoing problems. They are able to identify what the cause of the pain is and then provide the appropriate treatment to help the problem. They might use manual therapy techniques, dry needling, exercises, ultrasound or many other things to help in your treatment. They also provide excellent education and management strategies to help patients understand what their problem is and help to reduce their pain.
While pain is usually the first thing that brings patients to see a physiotherapist, this pain has often caused patients to give up activities that they love and can even be getting in the way of everyday tasks. Many of us reduce our activity levels to reduce pain without even realizing it. Physiotherapists are able to identify which areas you are struggling in and why this is occurring. By identifying the cause of your symptoms, we can help to get you back to full function. Physiotherapists are able to do this for everyone including elite athletes and those dealing with serious disabilities.
In fact, physiotherapists have a role to play at practically every stage of life. We can assess infants to monitor their motor skills development and as they grow we help them deal with the pains and vulnerabilities of a growing body. Among other things, we can help improve the function of athletes, assist in preventing injuries, help those with pelvic floor dysfunction and work to prevent falls in the elderly.
Not just exercises and massage.
Physiotherapists offer a range of treatments, from targeted stretches, manual therapies, dry needling, exercises and massage. Physiotherapists are also committed educators and take our role as such seriously.
A huge part of recovering from pain and injury comes from understanding what is happening and how to best manage these issues. Rather than create a dependency on their therapist, we aim to empower our patients to improve their health independently as much as possible.
Physiotherapists aim, to improve your quality of life and remove any barriers to full participation, whether these barriers are due to pain, weakness or stiffness.